No matter where you go, there’s the chance you could fall or slip up. But if you slip or fall, whether it’s at work or at the grocery store, you could be left with painful – and sometimes debilitating – injuries.
Although it’s possible that your injuries will resolve in time, they could become chronic and affect your life for years to come. Whether you’re dealing with short-term injuries or a chronic condition, our slip and fall attorneys want to help. Do you need a slip and fall lawyer for your case, though, or can you hire any personal injury attorney?
To answer this question, here’s a look at why you should always hire a slip and fall lawyer rather than handling matters alone or hiring a less experienced attorney.
What Is a Slip and Fall Accident?
Slip and fall accidents are a type of personal injury case. They can occur when a person is injured after they trip, stumble, slip, or fall. Common causes of slips and falls include:
- Floor damage e.g. torn carpets
- Liquid spillages
- Loose cables e.g. electricity cables
- Loose flooring tiles
- No support e.g. no handrails or broken handrails
- Uneven flooring e.g. cracked sidewalk
Unsurprisingly, slips, trips, and falls can happen anywhere. The most common places where you might slip or fall in California include:
- Grocery stores
- Parking lots
- Retail stores
You can slip or fall anywhere. However, you might have a personal injury claim if you’re injured on someone else’s property. We’ll explain why below.
Causes of Slip and Fall Injuries
Anything which poses a hazard could lead to a slip or fall injury. Here are some examples of what might cause a person to trip, slip, or fall on someone else’s premises:
- A cluttered floor space with poor lighting
- Failure to clear snow and ice from sidewalks
- Failure to properly secure loose wires
- Failure to warn of a spillage or broken floor tile
- Lack of workplace training
- Poorly maintained equipment
- Poorly maintained stairways and railings
Types of Slip and Fall Injuries
Since there are so many places where you can slip or fall, every injury is a little different. However, as slip and fall attorneys, we know that the most common types of injuries include:
- Back injuries
- Broken or fractured bones
- Cuts, lacerations, and bruises
- Head and neck injuries
- Herniated spinal discs
- Muscle sprains and strains
- Puncture wounds
- Torn ligaments
The injuries may be especially severe if the victim falls onto a hard surface or they fall from a height. There’s also the risk of penetrative wounds if they slip and fall onto a sharp object e.g. a broken railing.
California Slip and Fall Accident Laws
If you’re injured in a California slip and fall accident, there are a few civil and premises liability laws you should be aware of.
Typically, to make a slip and fall claim, you must show that:
- Someone else’s property was in a hazardous or dangerous condition
- The property owner knew of the issues and failed to rectify them
- It was foreseeable that the issues might cause an injury
- You were injured due to the property owner’s negligence
- Your injuries resulted in economic losses or pain and suffering
Depending on where – and how – the injury occurred, you might sue a residential property owner e.g. neighbor or landlord, a commercial property owner, or a government entity. Our experienced slip and fall lawyers can help you determine who to sue.
If the injured party was “at fault” in any way, the damages they receive can be reduced to reflect their degree of responsibility for their own injuries.
For example, if the injured party clearly saw the spillage but chose to walk over the hazard rather than take another route, they might be found partially to blame. This is known as the “comparative fault” rule.
Under the California Code of Civil Procedure, you have two years from the accident date to file a slip and fall lawsuit. There are limited exceptions to the rule and you may have less time to file. For instance, a slip and fall claim against a Government entity needs to be filed within 6 months of the accident.
Call our California slip and fall attorneys immediately if you’re unsure how long you have left to claim..
Proving a Slip and Fall Case
Proving a slip and fault case is similar to proving any personal injury claim. In simple terms, the victim must have evidence to show that someone is responsible for their injuries and that they suffered some form of loss as a result. Evidence includes:
- Photographs of the accident scene
- Pictures of the injuries
- Proof of medical bills
- Receipts for financial losses and out-of-pocket expenses
- Records of doctor’s visits e.g. ER attendance
- Witness statements
The more evidence available, the easier it may be to convince the insurance company to make a reasonable offer.
However, at the May Firm, we are not afraid of more challenging cases. Even if you don’t have much evidence on hand, contact us for a free consultation to discuss matters.
What Do Slip and Fall Lawyers Do?
Slip and fall attorneys are personal injury lawyers. They can help if you’re injured due to someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or wrongdoing.
When you hire a slip and fall lawyer, they will:
- Explain the legal process so you understand what’s happening at every stage
- Evaluate the evidence to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your claim
- Handle all negotiations and legal matters for you, so you can focus on recovery
- Run your case all the way to trial, if this is the best way to secure you the maximum amount of compensation
Benefits of Hiring a California Slip and Fall Lawyer
Although you can attempt to negotiate your own slip and fall settlement, here’s why it’s beneficial to hire an experienced attorney instead.
When you’re unfamiliar with accident laws, it’s difficult to know how best to proceed with your case. The steps involved can be complex, but slip and fall lawyers have the experience to guide you through the process. They’ll use their knowledge to help you avoid common mistakes and they’ll clearly explain what obstacles you might face – and how to overcome them.
Slip and fall attorneys have extensive experience negotiating with insurance companies and defendants. They will use this experience to determine the best way to settle your case, and they will accurately determine how much your claim is worth.
Case Building and Strategizing
Every slip and fall case is unique. However, all cases require careful management to get the best result.
If you try to negotiate your own claim, you may not understand how best to build your case or what strategies to deploy. Attorneys with slip and fall accident experience know what challenges you’re up against. They can devise a thorough strategy for moving your case forward based on current accident laws and past settlement experience.
Slip and fall attorneys have access to various resources to help prove your case. Whether you need an expert medical opinion or an accident reconstruction, they have the connections to help you build the strongest possible claim.
Most slip and fall accidents settle. However, in some cases, it’s necessary to go all the way to the courtroom. Slip and fall lawyers understand how to present a compelling case based on the evidence available. They know what challenges to expect and they will rigorously fight for the compensation a victim deserves.
Slip and fall attorneys know how to win cases. They also know what makes an offer fair and they’ll ensure that you file for all the compensation you deserve.
If you don’t hire an attorney, there’s a chance that you might not sue for the full amount of damages you may be entitled to. There’s also a risk that you’ll settle for less money than you’re due.
Cost of Hiring California Slip and Fall Attorneys
If you need a slip and fall attorney, you might be worried about how to pay them. The good news is that you don’t pay anything upfront. California slip and fall lawyers work on a contingency fee (no win, no fee) basis, so you don’t owe anything unless your case is successful.
How Do I Pay a Slip and Fall lawyer?
There’s no need to pay anything upfront. Once damages have been awarded, attorneys receive a certain amount of money from the settlement to cover their fees. The victim then gets their final settlement check and they won’t owe further money.
What Happens if My Case Is Unsuccessful?
It’s extremely disappointing if your case is unsuccessful. However, since slip and fall attorneys in California work on a contingency fee basis, you won’t pay anything unless your lawyer wins the case for you.
Hire California Slip and Fall Attorneys
If you’re injured in a slip and fall accident, you deserve representation from an experienced slip and fall attorney. Although you can hire any personal injury lawyer to run the case, slip and fall lawyers have a thorough understanding of what’s required to give your claim the best chance of success.
At the May Firm, we want what’s best for our clients. Our experienced attorneys are waiting to help you get the compensation owed to you. Contact a slip and fall attorney today to arrange a free case consultation.
The content in this article is provided for general informational purposes only and may not represent the current law in the recipient’s jurisdiction. The content and information should not be construed as professional legal advice from The May Firm or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. Any and all information included in, or accessible through, this article should not be used to act or refrain from acting without the appropriate legal or other professional advice from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s appropriate jurisdiction. Any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk.